Our 14 Best Pudding and Custard Recipes For A Simple Make-Ahead Sweet Treat

From dark chocolate pudding to orange flan, 17 ways to make the most of dairy and eggs

There are some magic duos in the the food world: eggs and cheese, chocolate and peanut butter, and one of our personal favorites, cream and sugar. Whether you throw in some eggs and bake the mixture into a rich, creamy custard or put it on the stove and stir in some rice, it's nearly impossible to go wrong with the combination of dairy and sugar. Here are our favorite ways to capitalize on the magic.

Danish Red Berry Pudding with Cream (Rødgrød med Fløde)
Danish Red Berry Pudding with Cream (Rødgrød med Fløde)
Berries are transformed into a thick, silky pudding in this simple Danish dish. Get the recipe for Danish Red Berry Pudding with Cream (Rødgrød med Fløde) »Ingalls Photography
Lavender Rice Pudding with Pears
Lavender Rice Pudding with Pears
Lavender and delicately floral Bosc pears complement each other in this rich rice pudding, made fluffy and light with whipped cream. Get the recipe for Lavender Rice Pudding with Pears »Farideh Sadeghin
Spotted Dick with Custard Sauce
Spotted Dick with Custard Sauce
Thick dreamy custard is spooned over dense currant-laden steamed pudding in this classic English dessert. Get the recipe for Spotted Dick with Custard Sauce »Penny De Los Santos
Fermented Banana Chocolate Pudding
Fermented Banana Chocolate Pudding
Don't throw out those old, over-over-ripe bananas. Blend them with chocolate for an easy pudding with a twangy bite. Get the recipe for Fermented Banana Chocolate Pudding »Matt Taylor-Gross

Though this recipe takes some advanced planning (you need to allow around 2 weeks for the bananas to ferment), it's well worth the wait. The fermented, sweet tang of bananas blends with bitter chocolate for a tropical spin on the classic pudding. It's easier, too, as the pudding is set with gelatin rather than egg yolks, which also lets the banana flavor shine through.

Note: If you want to ferment and puree more bananas than this recipe needs, the three bananas called for in this recipe should yield 1 1/4 cups of puree. Combine that with your half-and-half and reserve the rest for another day.

English Sticky Toffee Pudding
English Sticky Toffee Pudding
In this version of the classic English dessert, adapted from one in Rose Levy Beranbaum's Rose's Heavenly Cakes (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009), dates are soaked in stout beer and then pureed, resulting in a super-moist crumb. Get the recipe for English Sticky Toffee Pudding »Eilon Paz
Classic Indian Rice Pudding
Indian Rice Pudding
This traditional cardamom-scented Indian rice pudding owes its particular richness to the inclusion of whole milk, which has been reduced by half during the cooking process to produce a thick, creamy base. Get the recipe for Classic Indian Rice Pudding »Landon Nordeman
Pumpkin Spoon Halva with Cardamom Syrup
Pumpkin Spoon Halva with Cardamom Syrup
Just three ingredients—pumpkin, coconut milk, and salt—combine to make a simple spoon pudding, sweetened with cardamom-scented golden syrup and topped with crunchy pumpkin seeds. Get the recipe for Pumpkin Spoon Halva with Cardamom Syrup »Farideh Sadeghin
Baked Custard with Caramel Sauce (Leche Asada)
Baked Custard with Caramel Sauce (Leche Asada)
This classic custard is ubiquitous in Chile, where it is served in cups for a quick afternoon snack or baked in a larger pan for a family-style dessert. Get the recipe for Baked Custard with Caramel Sauce (Leche Asada) »Matt Taylor-Gross
Persimmon Pudding
Persimmon Pudding
Eva Powell, a former elementary-school librarian in Mitchell, Indiana, has won the town's pudding contest five times with her recipe for persimmon pudding with a crispy, cake-like crust. Get the recipe for Persimmon Pudding »Helen Rosner
Sevaya Kheer (Vermicelli Milk Pudding)
Sevaya Kheer (Vermicelli Milk Pudding)
Home cook Yamini Joshi gave us the recipe for this Punjabi dessert of cardamom-spiced milk bolstered by toasted vermicelli noodles, dried fruit, and nuts. Get the recipe for Sevaya Kheer (Vermicelli Milk Pudding) »Ingalls Photography
Tamil-Style Sweet Rice Pudding
Sweet Rice Pudding
This luscious rice pudding adorned with cashews and raisins, is reason to celebrate in Pongal, India. Get the recipe for Tamil-Style Sweet Rice Pudding »Ingalls Photography
Maple Pot de Crème
Maple Pot de Crème
Creamy custard sweetened with maple syrup makes a lovely ending to any meal. Get the recipe for Maple Pot de Crème »Todd Coleman
Banana Pudding
Banana Pudding
Custard, vanilla wafers, and bananas are layered and topped with whipped cream in our version of the classic Southern dessert. Get the recipe for Banana Pudding »Todd Coleman
Butterscotch Pudding
Butterscotch Pudding
In 2007, chef Nancy Silverton put an Italian spin on this dessert, calling it a "budino" and topping it with caramel sauce and fleur de sel. Call it what you will, it is still, at its core, everything we've always loved about butterscotch pudding. Get the recipe for Butterscotch Pudding »Landon Nordeman